Summer/Fall 2012

Diversity/Careers Summer/Fall 2012 Issue

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Saluting our Schools

RIT students prepare for careers in a global society

Programs focus on industry and business needs in support of what's going on in the world. Over 95 percent of grads get jobs

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT, Rochester, NY), has been widely recognized for its focus on career-oriented education. The university has a history of partnerships and connections with business and industry, and offers tech-focused programs in engineering and science, business and the arts. Academic programs are tailored to the current needs of industry and society; students can participate in cooperative education, research, study abroad and internships.

Technology plus creativity and innovation
RIT offers more than seventy graduate degree programs in its nine colleges. In addition to more traditional degree programs in engineering, computing and information sciences, chemistry and environmental science, RIT offers graduate degrees in packaging science, sustainability and architecture, bioinformatics, computing security, color science, innovation management, game design and development, computer graphics design, animation, computing security, materials science, astrophysical science and technology, and microsystems engineering.

The range of academic programs creates opportunities for student teams to conduct research that solves real- world problems. Students from software engineering and computer science work on interdisciplinary projects with designers and artists; they showcase their work at the Imagine RIT Festival, the Graduate Research Symposium, and in the Student Innovation Center, as well as at professional conferences and research symposiums.

"Our programs cut across traditional boundaries of science, engineering, business, and the arts," explains Diane Ellison, assistant vice president for graduate enrollment services. "Our students are innovators, and their best ideas come because they are exposed to the intersection of engineering with technology, business and the arts."

Job placement is high
"The job market for RIT graduates remains strong, with graduate student placement reported at just under 95 percent last year," says Manny Contomanolis, associate vice president and director of cooperative education and career services. RIT was among the first universities to offer cooperative education; last year, more than 3,500 co-op students alternated periods of study on campus with paid employment in nearly 2,000 firms across the U.S. and overseas.

Research that makes a difference
"Research is an integral part of our graduate programs. Many projects relate to the effective use of new technologies," Ellison says.

Alvin Spivey, a doctoral degree student and Anthony Vodacek, associate professor in imaging science, have taken their expertise to Rwanda. They are partnering with Rwandan scientists to map the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of Lake Kivu, where a dangerous level of carbon dioxide and methane gas threatens to erupt and cause serious danger for the two million people living along the lake. "By analyzing potential triggers for a catastrophic gas release, we can develop an early warning system," Vodacek notes.

Other students are involved in research projects closer to home, in campus facilities like the Toyota Production Systems Laboratory, the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, the IT Collaboratory, and the NanoPower Research Laboratory.

"Partnerships like these benefit everyone," Ellison says. "Experiences like these prepare students for careers in a global society. They are conducting important research, and are making a difference for our partners."

A diverse, connected community
RIT attracts students from all fifty states and more than 100 countries, and is host to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The residential campus, student services and campus activities focus on the unique needs and interests of minority, deaf, and international students. The diverse backgrounds and interests of RIT students make for interesting interactions, academic and campus life.

Student-run organizations include the Native American Student Association, Women in Computing, the Chinese Culture Club and chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers. The organizations are open to all. The Native American Future Stewards Program for Native American, Alaska Native and First Nations science, technology and math students has over 100 members. Dwight Cooke, who earned an MS in mechanical engineering in 2011, won first place at the 2010 AISES conference for his research paper on gas diffusion layer modeling.

RIT has an international presence
Graduate students can study, work and conduct research projects through campuses and partnerships abroad. In the 2011-12 school year, more than 1,200 students studied on RIT's four global campuses in Dubai, Kosovo, and Dubrovnik and Zagreb in Croatia; RIT also offers dual degrees in partnership with universities in Turkey and the Dominican Republic, and has cooperative agreements with institutions in fifty other countries.

Financial assistance takes many forms
Scholarships and assistantships for masters and PhD students are available and awarded based on merit. RIT also offers support for graduate students through the national GEM Consortium and the McNair Scholars program. Since tuition is not charged during co-op term, co-op students can use their earnings to help finance their educations.

"Students make a commitment when they decide to pursue a graduate degree. They will invest significant time and resources, but for RIT graduates, the return on their investment in advanced education is high," notes Ellison.


Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology

Main campus: Rochester, NY
Engineering enrollment: 17,500 (14,500 undergrad and 3,000 graduate)
Graduate & UG tech degrees offered: BS, MS, ME, MFA, MBA and PhD programs in engineering and technology, computing and information sciences, science and imaging science, film, animation and design, sustainability and architecture, business, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 30+ BS/MS or BS/MBA programs
Ways to matriculate: Full time or part time on campus; selected programs offered on line

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